One of my favourite childhood stories was the Magic Porridge Pot, a book I discovered when visiting my God-family. I must have been around four. A bottom-less porridge pot, which stops brewing when words of gratitude are uttered.
My mum had her own spin on this tale. The oldest girl in a family of eight, she was entrusted with kitchen duties by her very strict parents. With many mouths to feed, Granddad worked hard to make ends meet. They lived on one meal a day – rice porridge, which mum watered down to stretch servings for eight mouths, with a side of chilli to enhance an otherwise bland dish. A dish that remained a constant throughout her childhood in times of scarcity.
To this day, I am amazed by mum’s ability to whip nothing into something in no time at all in the kitchen and her discipline in not wasting a morsel is humbling.
I recently stumbled upon the Magic Porridge Pot in my daughter’s collection of bedtime stories. She listened quietly as I re-told Grandma’s story. I couldn’t be sure how much of it sunk in, but it served as a timely reminder that we should be thankful for what we have today.